The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration has announced a grant for more than $4 million to help establish a new national family medicine residency program.
The award will fund a three-year partnership between the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in Scranton, Pa., and the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences' School of Osteopathic Medicine in (Mesa) Arizona. Though it will be managed through the Wright Center and ATSU, residents will be placed in community health centers in medically underserved areas across the country.
The program is designed to confront two of the biggest issues facing the future of healthcare in the U.S.—a shortage of primary-care doctors and potential cuts in federal funding for residencies.
“These residencies will serve as a model for a new paradigm for training physicians to function effectively within a rapidly evolving healthcare system,” Dr. Thomas McWilliams, associate dean for graduate medical education at ATSU-SOMA
, who helped develop the program, said in a release.
During the first year, up to 29 residents will be divided among Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center (Hillsboro, Ore.), Lutheran Family Health Centers (Brooklyn, N.Y.), HealthSource of Ohio (Milford), HealthPoint (Renton, Wash.), the El Rio Community Health Center (Tucson), and Unity Health Care (Washington, D.C.).
The program will be limited to osteopathic physicians until 2015.
Currently, more than half of the available seats are unoccupied for the July 1 start date, but McWilliams expects the greatest number of applicants to come following the allopathic match next month.